Friday, November 21, 2014

Winterizing your home

We recently moved back up north after being in Tennessee for the past seven years. We have already experienced below freezing temperatures and a few inches of snow. The kids do not think it has snowed enough! This will be the first year they all have snow pants and snow boots and they want to put them to use.

Since moving up to colder temperatures, I have been trying to think of ways to keep our heating bill from going sky high. For starters, I keep the heat at 64 degrees. I don't ever raise it. If the kids are cold they can either move around or put on warmer clothing.

We moved into a rental that is an older ranch style home. The garage of this home was turned into a family room. It is great having the space for indoor storage, but we do not use it as a living area. With the temperatures, we have basically turned it into a pantry/storage area. The doors in the family room are french doors and they let in quite a bit of cold air. We like it being cold for food storage purposes, but we do not want all that cold air to come through the rest of the house. We decided to block off that room with a heavy curtain. My husband hung a simple round rod on the kitchen side of the doorway. We are amazed at the temperature difference between the kitchen and family room.

(curtain between family room and kitchen)

We also have french doors in our dining area. They don't let in as much cold air as the family room doors, but it is still a pretty significant amount. We hung up heavy curtains that I sewed myself. I doubled the thickness in order to block out the sun during the summer (keep the air conditioning from running all the time) and block out the cold air in the winter. For the outside of the curtain, I bought heavy upholstery material that was on sale. For the inside I used some white cotton blend material that was my grandmothers.

(homemade lined curtains)

We leave the curtain open during the day if the sun is shining. We keep them closed the rest of the time.

(The sun is so bright! I opened them up to let the heat in after the picture)

I made room darkening curtains for the kids rooms and we keep them closed up so the warm air stays in and the cold air stays out. I bought a room darkening curtain for our room.

Since the kids and I are home all day and spend the majority of our time in the living room, we purchased a space heater to run during the day.

(Yes, I bought a fake fire space heater. It is visually cozy.)

With this space heater, the living room stays between 68 and 70 degrees all day. With the temperature higher than what I have the heat set, our main heat doesn't run from around 6:00 a.m. until after 9:00 p.m. The majority of the days we end up only having the space heater running for three or four hours in the morning, then we shut it off. We usually don't turn it on again until around dinner time and turn it off right before bedtime.

The outside temperatures here have been in the teens to twenties at night and only getting up in the high thirties during the day. It has been nice not having the heat run throughout the house all day long and still be able to keep the house at a comfortable temperature. I hope with the winterizing of our home, that we will see a savings throughout the winter.

What are some ways you winterize your home?

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